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Armstrong's Astana: Financial Troubles

Published May 6, 2009

VENICE, Italy (BRAIN)—Team Astana is having financial troubles, but Lance Armstrong may be able to help.

The Astana team member suggested to a group of reporters in Italy, in preperation for the start of the Giro d'Italia, that his Livestrong cancer foundation could help out, according to the Associated Press.

"I don't have any concrete answers, but I suspect we can find some funding that would get us from June to the end of the year," Armstrong said. "It could be a combination of people that have a shared interest in Livestrong and want to see Livestrong promoted around the world and believe in what we're doing."

Astana receives most of its financial support from Kazakh state holding company Samruk-Kazyna, but the Central Asian nation's economy has been badly hit by the ongoing global financial crisis. The team has not paid its employees lately, according to the Associated Press.

"Maybe the situation gets resolved, and the guys start getting their dough," Armstrong said. "Otherwise, I think the license ought to be transferred to [team director] Johan [Bruyneel], and we try and start a team in the middle of the season. If someone commits to fund a team for half a year, that's $7 or $8 million. For a full season it's $14 to $20 million. That's a serious decision and can't be made in 20 to 30 days."

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